In the United States of America, prisoners forfeit essential rights if they are found to have been involved in terrorist activities. The forfeiture of citizenship rights provides law enforcement authorities with an opportunity to investigate suspects further and identify their accomplices and any planned terrorist plots. In spite of the provision, law enforcement authorities in New York could use correctional facilities to rehabilitate terror suspects to investigate the effectiveness of terrorist networks. Instead, most of the terrorists are introduced into the general population to interact freely with members of the public. Lowery et al. (2019) state that the department of homeland security needs to capitalize on correctional facilities to preempt further terrorist attacks (Meehan et al. 2018, p.6). Accordingly, correctional facilities should be fully exploited by law enforcement authorities to reduce the number of Islamic and right-wing terror attacks within the United States.
Radical Islamic Terror Attacks
Homeland security investigators working to collect information in correctional centers have played a key role in preventing Islamic terrorist attacks within the United States of America. In spite of the influence of the Islamic state and its rise to power, the department of homeland security has created several strategies to collect intelligence from correctional centers. Jackson et al. (2015, p.42) observe that the “Current Issues in Corrections Survey included in its assessment several specific needs related to contraband, monitoring inmate activity within institutions, and inmate classification concerns”. This demonstrates that there have been efforts by the department of homeland security have been instrumental in monitoring Muslim Americans in correctional centers who are considered to be potential terrorist threats while combating the Islamic State (ISIS). Consequently, the department has been successful in reducing the number of terrorists who are considered to be Islamic State sympathizers. “With regard to the sharing of intelligence, for example, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) currently operates these units across the country that work with other federal, state, and local entities to support investigations, as it became clear that prison-based intelligence can positively affect operations on the street” (Meehan et al. 2018, p.4). To effectively perform their tasks and their responsibilities, the department of homeland security has trained their staff in multiple languages to decode potential terrorist attacks.
Notably, the information gathered by the department of homeland security in correctional centers has been instrumental in identifying terrorist leaders in the Middle East (Amirault & Bouchard, 2017, p.3). Coordination among interstate agencies to collect information in correctional centers has been pivotal in preventing terrorists from establishing a safe haven in the United States. Meehan et al. (2018) argue that the department of homeland security has worked with airport coordination agencies to improve aviation security. Intelligence programs have also been introduced to preempt terrorist attacks in the country by interrogating suspects in correctional centers (Jackson et al. 2015, p.62). The progress that has been recorded by the department of homeland security has been aided by legislation allowing the agency to monitor the communication of terrorist prisoners to detect attacks before they are executed.
Right Wing Terror Attacks
In the recent past, right-wing terror attacks within the United States of America have been on the rise. As a matter of fact, right-wing terror attacks have been associated with polarizing issues such as immigration and radical Islam. Counterterrorism efforts have been made possible by making a provision for the department of homeland security to obtain information from inmates in correctional facilities. Though the first amendment states that prisoners can communicate freely, the department of homeland security can monitor communication channels such as incoming mails for the incarcerated individuals in correctional centers.
In spite of the rising numbers of right-wing terrorist attacks, the department of homeland security has been able to launch investigations to identify terror suspects in correctional centers. In the process, correctional facilities have been used to investigate suspects and charge them for the crimes preferred against them (Meehan et al. 2018, p.7). Correctional facilities have been instrumental in allowing the department of homeland security to leverage small crimes and violations such as drug laws and gun laws to prevent cases of violence. Lowery et al. (2019) posit that the focus of the department of homeland security continues to be shifted to reduce the number of shootings, bombings and other acts of violence that have been introduced to propagate the right-wing agenda.
A Republican, Mitchell Adkins was also apprehended and sent to a correctional facility to investigate the motives of his attack. The arrest was crucial to preempt a right wing attack on democrats in the Transylvania University in Lexington (Lowery et al. 2019).
How The Constitutional Rights Forfeited By Prisoners And Inmates Can Aid In Homeland Security
Article 490 of the NY Penal Law detectives can gather information to foil terrorist attacks or to gather intelligence on planned terrorist attacks. Article 490 of the NY Penal Law S 490.25 gives a guideline to law enforcement officers to guide them on the acts of terrorism that should be investigated in interrogating suspects in correctional facilities. Article 490 of the NY Penal Law S 490.10 also applies to investigations in correctional centers to ascertain whether a threat of terrorism exists (Article 490 | New York State Penal Law). The constitution of the United States has several provisions for its citizens. However, prisoners forfeit their constitutional rights as they are often held after committing a crime (The US constitution, 2006). In spite of the fact that inmates do not have the constitutional right to exercise freedom of movement and speech, the department of homeland security has not capitalized on the situation of inmates to expand their investigations. However, the department can capitalize on incarcerated terrorist suspects to reduce the number of terrorist attacks in society. Meehan et al. (2018, p.9) suggest that the department of homeland security places legal restraints on inmates to prevent them from coordinating further terrorist attacks. Federal laws have provided law enforcement authorities with a legislative framework to act against terror suspects and those who are suspected of aiding terrorists (Jackson et al., 2015, p.35). Effectively, the department of homeland security can use existing legislation to preempt attacks planned by right-wing and Islamic terror groups.
Additionally, the department of homeland security can take advantage of the forfeiture of citizen rights to use electronic surveillance on the inmates’ relatives (The US constitution, 2006). The use of electronic surveillance and coordination with intelligence agencies will assist the department in foiling terrorist attacks and investigating the sources of financing that the inmates rely on to perpetrate violence. Meehan et al. (2018, p.10) argue that since inmates cannot claim the freedom of speech and a right to privacy, surveillance equipment can be introduced to monitor inmates’ behavior. In the past, investigations have revealed that surveillance on inmates and visitors can yield critical information to prevent terror attacks (Amirault & Bouchard, 2017, p.2).
One of the rights that the inmates forfeit by committing a crime is the freedom of movement (The US constitution, 2006). By being denied the freedom of movement when incarcerated, law enforcement agencies are free to launch investigations by conducting property searches. In the process, the department of homeland security could collect critical information to interrogate suspects to prevent further terrorist attacks (New York State, 1978). A limitation in the freedom of movement is also important to monitor suspects in a closed environment to identify their close family members and their friends. Jackson et al. (2015, p.35) outlines that monitoring the suspects could preempt terrorist attacks particularly when the suspects are dangerous, and also prompt the department of homeland security to increase its search network thereby pre-empting any potential terrorist attacks.
By the same token, inmates who have been arrested for right-wing terror activities or those arrested for participating in Islamic radicalization forfeit their rights through a limitation in the freedom of communication (The US constitution, 2006). The department of homeland security has the right to breach the first amendment rights of inmates to monitor their communication. The communication by inmates to family members and close acquaintances could be monitored to ascertain whether there is any implicating evidence in the interpersonal communication (New York State, 1978). Reading emails could also be done by the department of homeland security which evaluates the communication transmitted to the inmates to ascertain whether there is evidence of a terrorist attack. Meehan et al. (2018, p.11) have shown that screening outgoing communication could also be used by the department of homeland security to preempt further attacks. Presumably, law enforcement agencies who capitalize on the condition of inmates to launch investigations have a significant advantage in understanding terror attacks and preventing them before they occur.
The United States’ constitution provides that every citizen has a right to fair treatment to live in an environment that is free of segregation. Through the forfeiture of first amendment rights, it is possible for the department of homeland security to segregate a terror suspect (The US constitution, 2006). Terror suspects could be put in isolation cells where their behavior is monitored, and officials from the department of homeland security get an opportunity to conduct interviews with the identified suspects. Jackson et al. (2015, p.35) have shown that segregation and discrimination could also be used by law enforcement officers operating under the constitution to ensure that they can separate suspects that are considered to be a danger to society (New York State, 1978). The benefit of the incarceration process is that it prevents inmates from interacting with other inmates and potentially radicalizing or recruiting them to join right-wing terrorist activities. The segregation and the discrimination of suspects is appropriate to dismantle terrorist organizations particularly if the suspect is an influential leader (Jackson et al. 2015, p.33). Therefore, correctional facilities could be used as an asset for law enforcement agencies to preempt attacks by separating terrorist group leaders.
At the same time, law enforcement authorities could use correctional facilities as a platform for detaining terror suspects until they are charged in a court of law (The US constitution, 2006). Law enforcement agencies can coordinate with the department of homeland security and state governments to establish correctional facilities for detaining radicalized terrorists until they are charged in a court of law. The detention process is critical in maintaining law and order in society and reducing the number of terrorist attacks instituted by the right-wing and left-wing groups. Meehan et al. (2018, p.3) have shown that by detaining the suspects, law enforcement agencies can interview them on multiple occasions to corroborate information collected in the investigative process. The detention process also allows law enforcement agencies to investigate the motives of the terrorist attack to formulate preventative strategies for future attacks. By detaining terror suspects in correctional centers, the government reduces congestion in the regular correctional facilities (New York State, 1978). In the same manner, detention and correctional facilities are an asset that could be used by law enforcement agencies to categorize terrorist attacks and to investigate the motives of terrorists (Meehan et al. 2018, p.4). After interrogating suspects, law enforcement agencies collect additional information to apprehend accomplices and stop other terrorist plots. The collection of data could then be used to indict suspects and to broaden the investigation to prevent future terrorist attacks. Therefore, correctional facilities are an asset to law enforcement authorities as they provide them with physical space to detain right wing or left wing terror suspects.
In the same way, correctional facilities can be used by law enforcement agencies to protect terrorist suspects who have decided to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in exchange of reduced sentences. Since the witness protection program is expensive to run, correctional facilities could be used to protect suspects and provide them with the security required to persuade them to divulge details about their terrorist organizations. Meehan et al. (2018, p.5) asserts that the protection offered by law enforcement agencies is essential as it could motivate terror suspects to participate in the investigative process to prevent terrorist plots. Arguably, using correctional facilities as a suspect protection program is beneficial to law enforcement agencies to protect their informants (New York State, 1978). In many cases, terrorist suspects who are released into society could decide to retreat to their terror organizations. Suspects who divulge critical operation details could backtrack the efforts of law enforcement agencies thereby making it difficult for them to prevent terrorist attacks. However, it is necessary for correctional facilities to be used as detention and monitoring centers to investigate the consistency of information provided by terrorist suspects.
Correctional facilities could also be used as an asset for the rehabilitation of radicalized terrorists within the United States of America. Law enforcement agencies have the opportunity to use correctional facilities as rehabilitation institutions where they recruit professionals to counsel terror suspects with the aim of rehabilitating them back to society (New York State, 1978). Educational programs could also be created to investigate the motivations of terror suspects to equip them with the requisite skills required to earn additional income. Granted, converting correctional facilities into rehabilitation centers will reduce the number of right-wing terrorists motivated by xenophobia, racism and sexual discrimination (New York, 1974). Programs created by law enforcement authorities could be designed to encourage inmates to adopt an ideological change for them to be released into society (New York, 1978). At the same time, correctional facilities could also be used by law enforcement authorities as a rehabilitation center for terrorists that subscribe to Islamic radicalism. Imams and Sheikhs could be called into the rehabilitation centers and correctional facilities to reorient radical terrorists and reintegrate them into society.
The department of homeland security in the United States of America should take full advantage of the forfeiture of citizen rights to improve its law enforcement efforts. Communication should be monitored and terror suspects put under surveillance to collect more information on further terrorist ploys. Law enforcement authorities also have the right to segregate the suspects and interrogate them repeatedly to corroborate information obtained in their investigative processes. The full exploitation of correctional facilities will allow law enforcement agencies to prevent terrorist attacks in the country and guarantee public security within the United States of America. Correctional facilities should also be used as training centers where law enforcement authorities investigate the source of right-wing and left-wing terrorist attacks.
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